The Stranger

A young woman meets a man on her way home. Is it a chance encounter, fate, or maybe more?

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1. A voice like the breze.

I know that I shouldn't have stopped. But I did. It was a cold dark night, and I was running late on my way home after my first day at Horvard College. The wind was blowing Autum leaves to the ground, and as I turned past the park, I heard a sound which pulled me back from thinking about my very hectic day. It was a whisper of a cough (you know, as when one is being polite?) and if came from a dark spot near a tree where a lamp's could not quite light.

I paused, as a second cough broke the silent night. A pause in the wind and in my breath caught nothing but silence, and as I was about to go, a voice spoke out:

"Excuse me, Miss" said a voice that sounded not that different from the sounds that a breeze may make as it floats past a cloud "I am sorry to inconvenience you, but I have lost my way tonight. Would you happen to know the way to the Mannor House?"

I managed only to babble something back to the talking shadow, "Er, aaaaa, ummm, Manour, did you say Manour?"

"Mannor, Miss, spelled with a double M, as in Manners, which I am afraid, I haven't shown many of, as I have yet to introduce myself. Please forgive me." Said the shadow, as couple of purple eyes shone forward to the light cast by the street lamp, followed, by a tall hat, a large (if handsome) nose, a gloved hand (and then another), long legs fit in handsome trousers, and a pair of two-tonned shoes that appeared to glide on the asphalt below."

With a bow (imagine that!) the owner of the purple eyes, the hat, gloved hand, and shadow smiled and spoke a name "Vance."

I must have stared for a second too long, for, after getting no response, he added "The name, my name is Vance."

"Oh," I heard myself say "Hi. Hi Mr. Vance" Now, dark as it was, and as I could not tell his age, but as Aunt Mirtle always says, when in doubt, always call a man by the simplest, if most elegant of titles "Mr." for it will never offend the old, and the young will always will be flattered by its sound, even in these times. Besides, he did have on a hat on.

I think that anyone, would have called him Mr. Vance that night... maybe not after learning more about who (and what he was) as I would in the week ahead, but that night, he was a stranger. He was Mr. Vance
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